In episode 199 of The Physical Performance Show Brad Beer shares a conversation with Dave McNeill – Dual AUS Olympian in this featured performer episode.
Dave McNeill at time of recording had recently wrapped up his Physiotherapy Studies but also just days earlier ran a scintillating 28:16 for a 4th Place at the Australian 10,000m Track Titles at the Zatopek Classic. By way of bio, in the 2012 London Olympic Games, Dave finished 28th in the 5,000m, at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Dave finished 16th. In the final of the 10,000m in July 2019 Dave marked his comeback with a 5000km National Cross Country Title but as you’ll hear during this episode, Dave’s career has certainly also take him to the wilderness years of injury. In fact, injury cost Dave Australian representation at the 2018 Commonwealth Games where he was set to take part in the 5,000m and 10,000m events. It was bone stress injury which sidelined Dave.
As you will hear today that took Dave down the path of exploration where he was to discover that one of the causing factors of his injury had been training through the status of low energy availability or as we’ve been exploring in prior episodes of the show including last week’s Expert Edition with UK based Sports and Endocrinologist Dr. Nicky Keay. Many endurance athletes inadvertently and unintentionally find themselves in a state of RED-S Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport. The flow on effects can be detriments in performance but also the effects can be found through a detriment of health. One particular flow on effect of relative energy deficiency for athletes is low bone mineral density. Dave had to confront that when his bone mineral density came back very low in his lumbar spine.
During this episode we explore topics including how to navigate self doubt, appraising readiness to perform, overcoming the fear of the pain that we put ourselves through leading up to an event, Dave’s concept of old man strength, the idea of not looking at the training in isolation or in a vacuum but rather over the long term considering the bigger picture, the mistake Dave made in mistaking the stable weight has been an energy balance.
Listen in as we delve into the following:
Reflections on his Zatopek Performance
Representation and preparation for 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Highlights in Dave’s career
Sabotaging performance – intentional and unintentional
Fear of pain when injured
Practical Things that Dave practised before Rio Olympics
What does a training week look like for Dave
Role of Gym Strength and Conditioning for Dave
Darkest Days of Dave’s career
How Dave processed having a low bone density and the change to his diet
Biggest learning of his career
Words from Bernard Lagat to Dave McNeill
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“Not today, go away.” – Mantra “Be Calm” – Being in the Zone “Spend some time thinking about why you are doing it.” – Best Advice “Go for a run on a technical or hilly course.” – Physical Challenge “Maintaining focus is kind of a bit hard to do.” “Be calm.” “You’re as good as your recovery.” “Do something that makes you happy.”
0:00 Start 2:11 Introduction to Dave McNeill 5:18 Welcome to Dave McNeill 6:00 Reflections on his Zatopek Performance 10:00 Representation and preparation for 2020 Tokyo Olympics 11:30 Highlights in Dave’s career 14:21 Sabotaging performance – intentional and unintentional 16:48 Fear of pain when injured 18:26 Practical Things that Dave practised before Rio Olympics 20:30 What does a training week look like for Dave 28:40 Role of Gym Strength and Conditioning for Dave 33:35 Darkest Days of Dave’s career 38:40 How Dave processed having a low bone density and the change to his diet 43:45 Biggest learning of his career 45:56 Physical Performance Round 56:10 Words from Bernard Lagat to Dave McNeill 1:00:05 Best Advice 1:01:05 Physical Challenge for the Week 1:08:15 Finish
Dr Nicky Keay – ‘RED-S, Hormones health & performance’ Episode 198 of The Physical Performance Show Bernard “Kip” Lagat – 5X Olympian, dual Olympic medallist & American record holder Episode 77 of The Physical Performance Show Stewart McSweyn – Dual 10,000m AUS Champion Episode 155 of The Physical Performance Show Dick Telford – AUS Distance Running Coach + Sports Scientist (AM, AUS Sports Hall of Fame Inductee) Episode 119 of The Physical Performance Show Brett Robinson – Australian track and field athlete